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Mock Draft Review 5. James Bouknight and Josh Giddey. & Open Thread
Daring reaches. High ceiling, high bust odds.
This is a series of reviews of published mock drafts. Why do this now, when we don’t even know which pick numbers the Warriors will have?
We are not looking for a precise prediction of draft order. This is a good chance to see the range of players that draft experts think GSW should be drafting outside of the Top 5.
There is an overwhelmingly vast chance that the Warriors will have at least one pick at #6 or below. There is near complete consensus on who the Top 5 should be (Cade, Mobley, Suggs, Green, Kuminga) and zero consensus on who the #6 pick should be.
Now you might think the Warriors are going to trade the picks to get immediate help for next season. I kind of think this too. However, it’s impossible to evaluate a trade and its opportunity cost without looking at what the draft picks might net you.
So without further ado, this mock draft is from Kyle Boone, CBS Sports, updated draft 5.0 on June 7. A sharp eyed viewer would say, hey, Kyle Boone already had one mock draft. Yes, and he updated it a couple of weeks later and got two completely different prospects.
In fact, we’ve had five mock drafts and TEN different players picked. There really is no consensus on which players should go #6 through #14. Every player we’ve covered has been rated in and out of the lottery by different respectable mock drafters.
#6. James Bouknight
SG CONNECTICUT • SOPH • 6'5" / 190 LBS /PPG 18.7 / RPG 5.7 / APG 1.8 / 3P% 29.3%
Boone: The lack of shot-making and shot-creation on Golden State's roster was glaring by season's end, with Stephen Curry ultimately shouldering a massive workload on both fronts. And while Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins have their roles for the future, and Klay Thompson's return should help, Bouknight can give this team a nice scoring addition. He's a savvy creator with good size and length who can make plays anywhere on the court and profiles as a nice offensive weapon in any system.
Profile from Sports-Reference.com
Per 40: Jarrett Culver, Kenny Anderson, Richard Hamilton, Dwayne Bacon, Gerald Henderson, Anthony Edwards, Bracey Wright, Jason Sasser, Joseph Forte,
Advanced: Dwayne Bacon, Jarrett Culver, Tony Carr, Carsen Edwards, Kemba Walker, Cole Anthony, Kevin Murphy, Shabazz Muhammad, Anthony Edwards,
NBA Draft Room Comp: Derek Anderson, Jamal Murray
Kyle Boone, CBS Sports: An in-season elbow injury and subsequent surgery derailed Bouknight's breakout sophomore season, as he returned for UConn but wasn't quite the same player. Still, he's an electric scorer with fantastic leaping ability who can create looks for himself by getting to the tin, pulling up off the bounce, moving smartly off the ball and generally being a bucket-getter.
Sam Vecenie, The Athletic: Bouknight is an athlete more in the vein of Zach LaVine, a smooth, floating explosiveness mixed with an authoritative finishing skill. He’s not quite as elite an athlete as young LaVine, but he’s going to throw down some monster dunks that raise eyebrows as a rookie. In general, the best skill Bouknight brings to the table is his shot creation. He averaged nearly 19 points per game this past season. He has a strong first step and has real finishing craft around the basket. He hit 62.7 percent of his shots at the rim in half-court settings, in part because he was able to also get a lot of shots at the basket off cuts due to his intelligent off-ball movement. He needs to get better on defense and as a passer, but there is a real gift for getting buckets.
Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer: SHADES OF Donovan Mitchell, CJ McCollum, Jordan Clarkson
Spark-plug scorer whose silky ballhandling and competitive edge are tailor-made for the pros.
Explosive athlete with a quick first step to pressure the paint and the hops to play above the rim.
Finishes acrobatically inside by leaping off either foot and using either hand for touch layups or loud dunks. Also draws a lot of fouls with deceptive moves and body control.
Slippery ball handler who loves using hesitations to generate space for his jumpers. Can hit tough, contested shots off the dribble.
Instinctual player who relocates and cuts.
Speedy defender who could become an effective stopper against opposing guards and some wings. Made strides as a sophomore, especially focusing off-ball and making an impact in the passing lanes.
Playmaking instincts: He forces some passes that aren’t there and misses some open opportunities. And he too often kills his dribble.
Streaky spot-up shooter whose issues could be due to his mechanics. Has a relatively stiff shot out of stationary positions.
Inconsistent on-ball defender.
Suffered a torn meniscus as a junior in high school.
#14. Josh Giddey
SF AUSTRALIA • 6'8" / 205 LBS / PPG 10.9 / RPG 7.4 / APG 7.5 / 3P% 29.3%
Boone: We added shot-making for the Warriors earlier in the draft with Bouknight, now we'll add shot-creation here with Josh Giddey, one of the most creative passers in the draft. Giddey is a big-bodied guard who has created as the No. 1 option and profiles as a big wing who can generate offense with his crisp passing and elite vision. Whether that's enough to make him a starter on this Warriors roster is unclear, but what he can bring as an offensive player is enough to make a difference on a team that likely has realistic goals of contending in 2021-22.
Profile from Sports-Reference.com
Wizzy’s Comps. None.
NBA Draft Room Comp: Taller Brent Barry
Jeremy Woo, SI. At some point, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Giddey is averaging 11 points, seven rebounds and six assists, and earning a ton of playing time in the NBL at 18 years old. He’s made a quick adjustment against professional competition and has been indispensable, starting to scrape at triple doubles as a legitimate, tall point guard. Giddey has his warts: He’s not a good defender, his jumper is a bit stiff and a work in progress, and he’ll have a tougher time athletically in the NBA until his body fills out. His numbers hold up fairly well with what LaMelo Ball did in Australia last year, and while they’re far from the same caliber of prospect, Giddey deserves a lot of credit. The lottery is feasible.
Sam Vecenie, The Athletic: Few players have as much momentum up the board right now as Giddey. He posted back-to-back triple-doubles in the Australian NBL last week, showcasing his extremely high-level feel for the game. He’s one of the smartest players in the draft, especially for a teenager. He has an innate understanding of where and how to get his teammates the ball in advantageous positions. That’s his key skill. At 6-8 without elite athleticism, Giddey is more a secondary playmaker in the vein of a Joe Ingles as opposed to a primary point guard. But he should be able to make plays out of ball screens. The keys here will be shooting and an emphasis on defensive fundamentals. He needs to stay lower in his defensive stance. The jumper should improve in time, as nothing is broken mechanically.
Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer: SHADES OF Joe Ingles, Kyle Anderson, Evan Turner
Tall playmaker with the ability to make any pass on the court, though he must answer questions about his shooting and defense.
Feel for the Game
Manipulates defense using a wide variety of change-of-pace moves. He understands how to take certain angles to open passing windows better than many NBA veterans.
Ambidextrous passer who fluidly distributes the ball off the bounce. Whether it’s a basic pocket pass or a high-level dish to a shooter or cutter, he delivers with accuracy.
Skilled finisher who can contort his body at the rim and score from awkward angles. He also displays soft touch on floaters.
Instinctual rebounder who gobbles up boards out of his area, and is a threat to take the ball coast to coast.
Solid off-ball defender who displays a desire to make plays in the passing lanes, though he must improve his fundamentals and court awareness.
Subpar spot-up shooter who needs to revise his mechanics. It looks like he brings the ball up to his release point too early, which means power isn’t transferring from his legs up to his hands. His footwork is also inconsistent.
Can’t make defenders pay for going under screens in the pick-and-roll because of his shaky dribble jumper.
Struggles defending man-to-man against quicker players and against bigger ones due to his lean frame.
Josh Giddey is impressing partly because he’s a great passer and in the same league that LaMelo Ball was in, and no one wants to miss on the next LaMelo. I could live with the reach for Giddey at #14.
Bouknight is a popular pick in mock drafts for GSW at #14 and seems like a big reach at #6. I’m not seeing the appeal. I agree that GSW doesn’t have players who can create off the dribble outside of Steph Curry and the best days of Jordan Poole. But neither of these guys hits the three well, and that’s tough in the modern NBA.
Perspective on #6 and #14 Picks
There was some discussion of what kind of prospect one could get at #14. I’m personally okay with “reaches” where you go for risky picks when you’re picking that late. You may feel differently.
For perspective, here are the last few #14 draft picks.
Aaron Nesmith, deep bench.
Romeo Langford, deep bench.
Michael Porter (!!), starter. Troubled but insanely talented maybe future star
Bam Adebayo(!!!), star
Denzel Valentine, derailed by injuries
Cameron Payne, bench
TJ Warren, sixth man
Shabazz Muhammad, bench
John Henson, bench
Marcus Morris, sixth man
Patrick Patterson, good bench
Earl Clark, deep bench
Anthony Randolph, GSW Summer League Hall of Famer
So I count in the last 13 drafts: 1 star, 1 starter, 2 sixth men, 4 role players, 3 deep bench players.
And here are the last #6 picks.
Onyeka Okongwu. Bench. Sniffle, I wanted him in this last draft.
Jarrett Culver, role player
Mo Bamba, bench
Jonathan Issac, sixth man
Buddy Hield, starter
Willie Cayley-Stein, bench with great quotes
Marcus Smart, starter
Nerlens Noel, role player
Damian Lillard, future Hall of Famer
Jan Vesely, out of the league fast, I remember his girlfriend was really cute
Ekpe Udoh, role player
Jonny Flynn, out of the league fast, not as good as the #7 pick
Danilo Gallinari, borderline star
Yi Jianlian, out of league fast, was really fun to play on NBA2K8
Brandon Roy, star
So in 15 #6 picks I count: 3 stars, 2 starters, 1 sixth man, 3 role players, 3 bench, 3 busts.